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News posted on Friday, 9 December 2016

Canberra Wine Industry threatened by illegal weedicide
Canberra vineyards have been hit by weedicide spray drift which will threaten their crop, vine health, their livelihood, also their own and their neighbour’s health, according to pioneer winemaker and ex CSIRO biologist, Ken Helm AM of Murrumbateman. Reports of vine damage from the vineyards in the last two weeks, in the Hall, and Murrumbateman regions from the deforming weedicides 24D and MCPA which have links to "Agent Orange “used in Vietnam can cause major loss of crop and deforming the growth which can continue in the plant for 2 years.

10 minutes with AWRI managing director Dan Johnson
Marrying a love of science with strong business acumen has been a life-long goal for Australian Wine Research Institute Managing Director Dan Johnson. The 38-year-old with a PhD in Chemistry and an MBA from the University of Adelaide became the AWRI’s youngest ever MD in 2011 and credits his appetite for using science to find practical applications for industry among the keys to his success. Johnson says his University of Adelaide MBA helps him bridge the worlds of science and business. “You’ve got to be able talk in language that resonates with an accountant, a marketer and an economist.”

Huge opportunity
There is a new market with close to 1.5billion customers opening up, and Goulburn Valley producers are lining up to sell their products. Officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Trade Assistant Minister Keith Pitt met with businesses in Shepparton yesterday to give advice on how to take advantage of recent trade agreements. The recent free trade agreements with South Korea, China and Japan have given Australian producers access to a growing middle class of millions that are looking for high quality produce.

Latest issue of the Wine & Viticulture Journal out now
Evidence that shows winemaking choices may have a greater role to play in reductive wine characters than previously thought, the prospect of using natural flavourings to overcome poor vintages, and the results of a tasting comparing Yarra Valley and Hawke’s Bay Shiraz, or Syrah, are among the highlights of the just-released November-December issue of the Wine & Viticulture Journal. The evidence stems from an analysis by the Australian Wine Research Institute of the wines rejected for faults from the International Wine Challenge over the past nine years which showed that the percentage of wines rejected for reductive characters was the same under both cork and screw caps.

Tasmania nights: The wine of Ricky ‘Bobby’ Evans
Tasmania is in Ricky Evans blood, so when he left the island to head to university he knew he’d be back. It may have seemed in doubt when he finished at the University of Adelaide and travelled even further away – but this journey was all about searching for the best techniques to apply at home. The boy who was born in the Tamar Valley is now making his mark with Bay of Fires and his own label, Two Tonne Tasmania. Daniel Whyntie spoke to Evans about the future of Tasmanian wine and his place in it.

Pinot Noir NZ 2017 Sold Out
The sold out sign has gone up on one of New Zealand’s most significant wine events: Pinot Noir NZ 2017. The celebration, which attracts the world’s greatest wine minds and palates to Wellington from 31st January until 2nd February 2017, is at capacity with over 600 tickets snapped up. The line-up of keynote speakers is as impressive as it is diverse. It includes wine industry guru Jancis Robinson MW OBE, described as the most respected wine critic and journalist in the world, Grammy Award-winning Tool frontman and winemaker Maynard James Keenan, Japan’s sake and wine master Kenichi Ohashi MW, and Australian wine provocateur Mike Bennie.

Chinese consul-general visits Marlborough
The Chinese consul-general is getting the message out that Marlborough is still open for business for Chinese tourists. People's Republic of China Consul-General Zhijian Jin was in the region on Thursday and said he would be letting people know Marlborough, and the South Island in general, was still safe to visit following the earthquake. China was the second largest visitor market for New Zealand, behind Australia, with 405,504 Chinese visiting the country in the year to September.

Treasury Wines to end Bristol bottling with Accolade
Treasury Wines Estates has added a little wrinkle to the potential float of Accolade Wines by terminating a wine bottling deal in the United Kingdom with the ASX aspirant. Treasury has given Accolade notice that it intends to cease a wine bottling initiative whereby many of Treasury's European brands are packaged up at the large Accolade facility in Bristol. But the deal won't end quickly. Under the terms of the agreement it will be three years before Accolade actually stops bottling Treasury grog at its giant plant. The original agreement was struck in 2012 under a reciprocal arrangement where many of Treasury's brands destined for Europe are bottled by Accolade in the UK.

Vinexpo HK masterclass: Y Viva Almaviva
A rare masterclass in vintages from the Almaviva winery left an audience in Hong Kong in no doubt of Chile’s ability to challenge anywhere in the world. If one were in any doubt about Chile’s ability to craft fine age-worthy red wine then the Almaviva masterclass at Vinexpo Hong Kong would have changed your opinion forever. The wines, a library collection of seven vintages back to 1998, all in magnums, proved that Bordeaux grapes planted in the poor rocky soils of Chile’s Puente Alto can produce something that is powerful, structured and layered in its youth, but also elegant, complex and lingering with maturity.

Will we all be drinking orange wine in 2017?
A recent Independent article made the claim that “we will all be drinking orange wine in 2017”. Just how silly a claim is this? Well, fairly silly. Though only slightly sillier than the Indie‘s standfirst which summarises orange wine as “refreshing like white with the complexities of red” – one imagines the sub editor is more of a beer drinker… For every orange wines eulogist there is an intensely annoyed critic, and it’s very amusing to witness the stark contrast of their views.

South African wine brand Footprint joins Delibo Wine Agencies
Delibo Wine Agencies has expanded its portfolio with the addition of the Footprint range from South Africa’s Western Cape. The range comprises six single varietal wines and two blends, Chenin/Semillon and Merlot/Pinotage. The wines are produced by African Pride and crafted by winemaker Mike Graham, who is said to have uncompromising belief that each wine should have its own individual character. David Wright, sales and marketing director at Delibo Wine Agencies, said, “This is an exciting addition to our evolving portfolio. These wines at these prices will serve well both the on and off-trade."

Beware of wine exchange scam on Facebook
A wine exchange has been circulating Facebook, asking you to give a little to get a lot. Regan Small at Wide River Winery saw the post on Facebook, it states, if you give one bottle of wine you can get up to 36 more. "I think if they're expecting to get all this great wine for sending one bottle out, their expectations have been set too high," said Regan Small, Le Claire manager at Wide River Winery. Working in the wine business, she saw another problem with this exchange.

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